Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*


15. ✗ fourteen ✗


Not until after convincing Harry that I'm one hundred percent sure that I want to return back to work, did he actually make a move to drive in the direction of my apartment. We were there for less than fifteen minutes and we left with most of my clothing items and a promise to the owner of the building that I will clean the place heavily and pay for any damage before I officially move out.

Of course once we got to the car Harry said that I will be doing no heavy cleaning; he read somewhere that the chemicals in cleaning products could do damage to an unborn child, or so he says.

I've changed into a fitted pantsuit, my favorite pantsuit actually, with my best blouse and a pair of cute three-inch pumps. I think my attire, as well as the fact that I put a bit of makeup on my face and did my hair, impressed Harry to a whole new degree. And I have to admit; the look is making me feel like a new person. I can't place my finger on it, but I look livelier than before and there's a certain glow to my unusually pale skin.

Only once we have picked up our Chinese take-away do we arrive at the office. We pull up in Harry's Range Rover a little after noon and are greeted by one of the complementary valet members of the company. I stay quiet as we walk into the building, only speaking to thank the doorman for his services whilst we move.

"Mr. Styles." The lobby desk woman greets with a small smile. He shoots her an infamous smirk and a head nod before continuing to lead the way towards the elevators. The woman's eyes grow double in size at the sight of me trailing behind. It isn't the first time we've ever entered the building together, but it's the first time I've entered the building in almost five weeks. Plus I usually arrive well before seven am and it's pushing mid-afternoon now. "Ms. Nichols." She utters, her lips barely moving.

"Good afternoon." I greet, trying to sound as professional and normal as humanly possible. But as soon as we enter the lift and the doors close between the world and us, my professionalism goes out the window. "Holy shit!" I exclaim, running a hand over my hair in hopes that it's still in a pristine bun at the top of my head.

"What? What's wrong?" Harry's concern is enough to drive me mad.

"I have no story. I have no lie for why I was out of the office for so long!" I exclaim in terror.

I'm a planner, clearly, and there is no plan for this. If someone is to come up to me and ask about my absence, I will have no solid lie to tell. And Harry can tell a completely different lie and we'll be sunk.

"Hey," Harry manoeuvres the food around in his arms so that he can place a hand on my shoulder in comfort, "I already told you before; the first week you were out with the flu and from then on you've been on vacation in Manchester."

"And what do you suppose I've been doing in Manchester for a month now, Harry?" I hiss, watching the floors ticking past us as we arrive closer to the top floor. In a matter of seconds we will be greeted with a floor full of people, surely expecting to hear of my grand vacation in bloody Manchester.

"Love, you need to breathe." Harry warns. The nickname alone makes me relax, thankfully. "You tell them whatever you feel comfortable with telling them." I nod, exhaling slowly to return my breathing back to normal. "Are you sure you want to do this?" He asks as the floor came closer, "Because we can return home if you want." I nod again, eager to get this over with.

"No, I want to stay." The moment the words leave my lips the lift dings and the doors open to the work place I've learned to love so much. Harry steps out first, allowing me to trail behind him, practically hiding myself with his height and build. It has worked tremendously until we reach the glass doors of my and Harry's offices.

The ginger-hair woman sitting at my desk catches my eye first, her breasts spilling out of the low-cut dress that hugs her pristine figure the second and third things that catch my eye. She's hopelessly scrolling away at the iPad on my absolutely disgusting desk surface.

There's no inch of free space upon it and it absolutely disgusts me. I hate clutter and mess and that is exactly what I see. There are two coffee cups, probably empty, thousands of sticky notes, crumpled up sheets of paper, and about thirty folders waiting to be read and filed properly.

"Oh sweet baby Jesus." I groan out, trying to compose myself before Harry pushes the glass door open with ease, somehow doing it graceful with his hands full.

"Melissa." He greets, causing her to jump alive on her feet and drop the iPad to the desk surface.

"Afternoon Mr. Styles, I had no idea you were- Shay?"

Oh my God, here it goes.

Her eyes are wide as she stands still like a statue, taking in my presence. She looks clearly surprised, as if she thought I'd never return to work. I put on my best work face that I can, pursing my lips together and fixing my blazer to smooth it out.

"Hello Melissa, I see you've been busy." I mutter, motioning to my desk as I step past Harry and approach the area. Melissa backs away, looking like she's seeing a ghost. When I get close to the desk, she immediately backs away.

"You know me, I work better with a bit of a mess." I send her a closed smile and look to my computer, which isn't even turned on.

How is she still here?

"Well, I trust it will be clean after I have my lunch." I nod my head at Harry, whom is in the midst of opening his office door whilst keeping his eyes focused on I. "Excuse us." I say to her, brushing past her and pushing both doors wide for Harry and I. He enters behind me and I close the doors, exhaling the breath that I is somehow still holding.

"Wow." He mutters, setting the food down upon his desk, which too is a mess. "I've never seen you talk to her with such an attitude." I smooth out my blazer again before unbuttoning it and shrugging it off my shoulders. It feels like a hundred degrees in this place. "How'd that feel?"

"Surprisingly, good." I answer, plopping down into a chair and opening the bag for my food. I deserve a delicious meal after that one-sided altercation. "Now can we eat, I'm starving."


"How was Manchester?"

Things had been left in a peaceful silence since my lunch with Harry. After eating way too much Chinese food and promising once again that I will do nothing too stressful, I went to my desk and began work.

Melissa sat by her own desk, which is smaller than mine and lacks any real sense of professionalism and kept her trap shut. Although I could feel her beady eyes on me the entire time I typed and read emails, she said nothing. She said nothing as I scheduled, nothing as I filed, and definitely nothing when Harry continuingly peeked his head out of his office to check on me. But that two hours streak of silence has come to an abrupt end.

"It was lovely." I say, leaning back in my chair and stretching my arms out a bit. I'm already feeling tired. Maybe I can take a catnap in Harry's office.

"Did you do anything fun?"

"I enjoyed long hours at the Manchester Art Gallery as well as the John Rylands Library. I even had the chance to visit the Whitworth Art Gallery whilst I was away. The art there was spectacular and so eye-opening." I lie, swiveling in my chair to look at my intern. She's in awe at my words; probably assuming I would have done something more enjoyable with my time.

Truth is, if I had gone vacationing in Manchester, I would have done those things. Art speaks to me and libraries calm me.

"Well, that sounds fun." She almost looks pained to say that... almost. "You must be an amazing assistant if Mr. Styles grants you with a month of paid vacation." Paid vacation?

I immediately pull up my bank's website on my desktop and log in, confirming what she has told me. My last two paychecks for the past month are fully intact, showing no sign that I was even out of the office.

I take pride in working for my money. Growing up I was handed money on a platter as if it grew on trees. If I asked for something, I was given it... life of a spoilt brat. As soon as I grew and saw how others lived their lives, I knew the rich life wasn't for me. I wanted to earn money, not have it handed to me. I have enough in savings that I don't need to be paid for my time away and I surely have more than enough now that Harry is allowing me to live with him for free.

"He is a great boss." I mutter, logging out of my account and reminding myself that I have to speak with Harry about that later.

"Holy shite, well if it isn't Shay Nichols, alive and well!"

I look from my desktop to the male standing in the open doorway of the joined offices. His dark hair is perfectly styled atop his head and his cocky half smile shows off his pearly white teeth.

"Cameron." I say, not making an effort to stand from my chair, but I do sit straighter. "What brings you up to the thirtieth floor?" I question, watching as he swiftly walks across the floor over towards me. He sends Melissa a flirty wink before turning his full attention to me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my intern practically swoon.

"Have you been away that long, Nichols?" I narrow my eyes, am I missing something? "May's financial reports are in for the first couple weeks, plus we just got the first quarter's statements as well. I bring them to you every month and every quarter."

"Right, sorry." I apologize, reaching out to take the folders from his hands. I spin around in my desk chair and plop them into the bin that is set aside for Harry's documents that get delivered.

"What did a girl like you spend a month in Manchester for?" I roll my eyes before turning round to face the man.

Can't everyone mind their own bloody business?

"Just spent it like a normal holiday."

"We should get drinks tonight!" I immediately shake my head and ponder how he can change subjects so quickly.

I haven't gotten drinks with coworkers in months, since last year to be precise. I don't enjoy it much, just a bunch of stuffy office workers "trying" to cut loose on a Friday night. It usually ends with Cameron taking some woman from the office home and seducing the dress slacks off her. Can't be sure if he's ever tried with me, but I've never given him the time of day to begin with. Just strictly colleagues between us.

I find that befriending your coworkers doesn't always work out.

"Sorry, can't, still tuckered out from my holiday."

"Oh c'mon!" He exclaims, sitting at the edge of my desk. I hate when he sits on my desk; it irks me. "It'll be fun! Melissa will be there."

All the more reason not to go.

"Sorry, Cam, maybe another time. I've got a lot of work to do."

With a heavy sigh, the man stands from my desk and begins to back out of the room. He sends Melissa one last wink before saying that he'd see her tonight. Once he's out of sight, I let a sigh escape past my lips. I enjoy Cameron's company, on occasion; today is not one of those occasions.

"He likes you."

"I don't date coworkers."

My phone rings atop my desk, interrupting Melissa from saying anymore, thankfully. I reach for it, bringing the phone to my ear at once, proud to be answering calls again.

"You've reached the desk of Mr. Styles, Ms. Nichols speaking, how can I assist you?"

"Shay." I drum my fingernails against the, now, clean surface of my desk and try to avoid turning to look at the office behind my desk.


"Just calling to check up." His voice carries through the receiver, dancing through my eardrums like music to my ears. There's just something about his voice that relaxes me, as well as his touch and his adorable nicknames/pet names like love. "Everything going alright?"

"Why of course it is. Can I put you through to Mr. Styles?" I ask whilst glancing in Melissa's direction. She's paying no mind to me, scrolling through what looks to be Pinterest. Harry laughs loudly, so loudly I can hear him through the double doors behind me.

"I was just calling to check up and say that we can get going in about an hour."

"Awe, but I'm enjoying myself." I pout, smiling lightly as I twirl absentmindedly in my chair. Melissa glances in my direction and I immediately straighten up, clearing my throat. Way to go."I will pencil you in for the twelfth of next month. Have a lovely day." And with that I hang up, allowing a large sigh to escape my lips. That was close.

"Who was that?"

"Huh?" I question as I send Harry a quick message stating that Cameron dropped the reports off and they're waiting for him to review.

"I asked who that was on the phone? Anyone important?"


Thankfully before I have the time to answer, someone loudly enters the office, pushing my double glass doors open with ease. I immediately recognize the man from Harry's party long ago as well as from the collection of photographs in his office, and the many times he's stopped by before.

He wears a large smile on his slender face as well as a nicely tailored blue suit. The white shirt underneath hugs his figure and the skinny tie around his neck makes him look even more slender than I suppose he is. His brown hair is pushed off his forehead and he runs a hand through it just as he approaches.

"Why hello beautiful ladies." He greets, sending us both a white-toothed smile when looking in each of our directions. "Dear," He approaches Melissa's desk swiftly, taking her hand in his before helping her to her feet, "would you mind fetching me a cuppa, pronto?"

Yeah, like that'll ever happen.

"Right away Mr. Tomlinson." She blubbers before quickly scurrying away until she's out of sight, leaving me in complete shock. What? I've never seen Melissa move so quickly in my entire life. What have I missed whilst I was away?

"Whoa, can you teach me how to do that?" He laughs loudly and approaches my desk next. I slowly stand, brushing my clothing down smoothly. "Mr. Tomlinson, is it?" I stand, extending a hand to him.

"Please, call me Louis, Shay. And must I say you look even more beautiful than the last time I saw you." I shake his hand briefly before dropping it to my side. I can't help the blush that heats my cheeks as he speaks. He just has a way with words. "Keeping Harry's desk whilst he's been away does have its perks." So, that's how he's been able to work from home for this long without having to attend meetings. "How are you feeling?"


"Louis, I thought I heard you ordering around my employees." I look to Harry, seeing him standing in the open doorway of his office with a large smile on his lips. I bite my lip and watch the two of them hug and then make small talk quietly. I'm still in utter shock from him getting Melissa to actually do shit. "Shay? You alright?" I blink out of my trance and send Harry a small smile.

"Oh, yes." I say, blushing that I've been caught zoning out on their conversation. Louis sends me a small smile, almost a reassuring smile before disappearing into Harry's office. I take the time of us being alone to speak. I step forward, closer to him so I won't have to shout.

"Does he know?" Harry ducks his head down before nodding slowly.

"He's my best mate, Shay. I had to tell him. Please don't be angry."

"I'm not angry." I say quickly. It isn't a total lie, I isn't necessarily mad, just uncomfortable. "But, he is the only person you've told, correct? You didn't tell anyone else?"

"Yes, of course."

"Does he know about the other thing?" I ask, flickering my eyes in the direction of stomach before bringing my hand to rest softly on the flatness.

"No, only us and the doctors." I nod my head quickly.

"We also need to talk about the fact that my bank account has received two paychecks from this establishment even though it seems as if I've not worked in a month." A blush creeps on Harry's cheeks and he shrugs his shoulders. I pick the financial reports out of the bin and shove them in Harry's hands with a cocked brow.

"I don't know what you're talking about-"

"Enough flirting, you two." Louis exclaims, poking his head out the open door. I immediately drop my hand and pretend that I'm smoothing out my clothes, again. "Harry get your ass in here so we can discuss work and stuff. And Shay, have Melissa bring me my cuppa when she returns."

"Right away."



"She gets more beautiful each time I see her." Louis exclaims once I've shut the doors of my office, slouching down in my desk chair before twirling around a bit. I roll my eyes and motion for him to get out of my chair before making my way towards him.

"Shhh, she can probably hear you."

"I don't mind. You tell her she's gorgeous, right? Girl like her needs to hear it." I roll my eyes again and push Louis out of my way before dropping into my seat and placing the reports in a pile at the edge of the desk. "How's she doing by the way?" He asks, this time with a bit of reservation.

"Um, alright, I guess." I respond, darting my eyes anywhere other than Louis. If I even so much as look at him long enough I'm going to blab about Shay being pregnant. I'm not going to tell anyone until Shay assures me I can. I don't need her angry with me. "She was eminent on coming into work today if that tells you anything." Louis nods his head as I focus my eyes on the computer before me.

"Is she still living with you?"

"I asked her to move in with me." I blurt, immediately closing my mouth before any other secrets can come pouring out. Louis' eyes grow double in size as he stares over at me, his lips parting open in shock as well.

"You did?" I nod slowly. "Holy shit, you finally grew bullocks." Louis exclaims, laughing loudly. "So does this mean you two are like dating?"

"No. I just asked her to move in because she's been basically living with me already."

"There's a difference between basically living with you and actually moving in with you, mate."

"And what would that be Louis?" I question, focusing my attention mainly back on work. I don't even know why he's here. I didn't tell him to come in today and he said he was preparing for some business trip to the states. "And what would you know about living with a female, huh? You've never done it before."

"Not true, I have six sisters."

"Not what I mean and you know it."

A knock at the door brings our conversation down to silence and moments later; Melissa emerges with a to-go cup in one hand and a napkin in the other.

"Mr. Tomlinson, your tea." At the mention of tea Louis perks up and spins around in his chair, taking the cup from her at once. "Anything else I can grab for you?" She asks sweetly, looking between Louis and I.

"No." I answer.

I don't have the decency to be remotely kind to her. First, she drives Shay absolutely mad. Second, she's rather annoying. And third, the mess upon Shay's desk is enough for me to want to fire her at once.

"No thanks, doll. Be on your way."

"Yes sir." She responds before quickly exiting the room. I stare at the door in shock.

"What'd you do to her whilst I was away?" I ask, watching Louis sip his tea quietly. He smirks over at me before shrugging.

"Let's just say the thing should learn who and who not to flirt with."


"Yes, and desperate; but enough about her. I reached out to a friend of mine and got you and your girl-"

"She's not my girl." I counter, leaning back in my chair. I wonder why I even involve Louis in my personal life.

"Whatever, I got her and you, oh and myself, a reservation at Pétrus for this evening at half seven. So don't be late."

"Louis!" I whine, slumping down in my chair.

"Stop whining like a little baby and man up. We're going out to dinner tonight, whether you two like it or not. You need to get out more and she just needs to get out of the house in general. See it as a celebration if you want. A celebration of her emergence from your home."

"How thoughtful of you." I grumble, watching Louis stand from his chair and grip his tea in his hands.

"I'll meet you there. Dress appropriately."

"That's all you came here to say?"

"Duh. I knew if I called you would just hang up." I open my mouth to argue further with the person I, for some reason, call my best mate, but am interrupted by his stubborn arse. "See you there." I get up from my chair in a swift motion, trying to jog after him, but by time I reach my door he's out of sight.

"Everything alright Mr. Styles?" Shay asks, peering over her shoulder at me from my position at my door. I glance in Melissa's direction to see her watching us intently, a perfectly sculpted eyebrow raised in my presence.

"Actually no, may I speak with you in my office?" I ask. Shay nods softly before standing to her feet and entering my office. I shut the door firmly behind her and let out a sigh.

"Thank God, I've had to use the loo for the past twenty minutes." She sighs, looking in the direction of my on-suite. I nod and she hurries off, shutting the door firmly behind her.

I'm not sure just how Shay is going to react to dinner tonight. As far as I know this is going to be the first time going out to a place other than the hospital, my home, and the office. Plus, by half seven the sun will already be down for the night. For some reason, I'm just too nervous to ask her. I haven't been this nervous since I was pulling for the construction of our new branch in Australia.

"Okay," I jump at Shay's voice, which has for some reason come to life since being here. She's no longer timid like she had been when we first entered, she's now perfectly comfortable, "now is there something I can actually help you with or can I get back to work?"

"No, there's something." I begin, taking a seat on the edge of my desk. Shay takes a couple steps towards me and crosses her arms over her chest, raising a brow at me. "Louis was here."

"Clearly." I can't help but smile at her attitude. "Why are you stating the obvious Harry?"

"Well, he kind of invited us to dinner tonight." I don't wait to gauge her reaction before continuing. "I know you're probably going to be super tired later, so we really don't have to go. Plus, it's a really fancy place so there's no reason to get all dressed up just for a few hours, is there? How about this, I'll call Louis and decline the invite and you and I will order in pizza tonight? Or I can cook if you'd like."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Harry!" Shay interrupts, raising her hands up at me. "Slow down and start from the beginning." I take a deep breath and start over.

"The only reason Louis stopped by today was so that he could invite the both of us to dinner."

"Okay, continue."

"Anyway, he wouldn't take no for an answer, so we kind of have to attend." She slowly darts her tongue out to wets her lips as she nods her head slowly. "But if you really don't feel like going out tonight, that's perfectly fine. We can try to cancel."

"No." She finally mutters, standing up a bit taller and uncrossing her arms. "We should, um, we should go." I stare back in shock. "Please, Harry, let's just go out for the night." I nod my head in silence.

"It could be fun, I guess."

"You sure?"




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